Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 42
  1. #1
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    When to Terminate Affiliation (Affiliate's Perspective)
    I've terminated a number of affiliate relationships n the past two months. This is a result of some merchants creating what in my opinion is a less desirable partnership.

    So when do I recommend termination? For the purpose of this posing, I have omitted from the list instances of fraud or deceptive practices by the merchant.
    1. Lowering of Commission
    2. Reduced Return Days
    3. Restrictive PPC/Search Terms


    I have become less tolerant to merchants who lower my commissions. In good faith, I joined a program with knowledge of what he commission structure is.
    Unless the merchant is one who is vital to my business, I will terminate the relationship.

    Reducing return days is a no, no in my books. It leaves me with a sense that the merchant is finding ways of not honoring our relationship.
    I've had merchants reduce return days to a matter of hours. So I do the work and send customers their way and they keep all the revenue and don't reward me for it? That's bogus!

    I've also noticed that some merchants are restricting paid search terms. If I have an existing relationship and have spent time and money on a campaign and the merchant restricts terms further, it's usually a basis for termination.
    I believe I'm in a partnership and restricting or tying my hands behind my back is less than honorable in my books.

    Well that's it for now.

    Let us know your reasons for termination.
    Last edited by bibby; February 13th, 2011 at 03:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    4. Switching to a network with whom I don't care to do (much or any) business.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  3. Thanks From:

  4. #3
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    4. Switching to a network with whom I don't care to do (much or any) business.
    Yeah. I forgot that one!

  5. #4
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 7th, 2010
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    330
    I dropped one merchant for what I believe are deceptive sales practices
    Recently, within the past few weeks, I dropped one merchant, after spending quite a bit of time on their web site and reading customer reviews posted on the Internet. IMHO, their sales methods are deceptive.

    In retrospect, it was a mistake for me to have had their creative on one of my web sites, IMHO, and I replaced them with another merchant. I should have done the due diligence *before* I put their creative on my web site.

    I prefer to promote companies that are members of the Better Business Bureau, when possible.

    The 2 companies I promote the most, I have great confidence in their products and their ethics.

  6. #5
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    3,126
    1) If they lower your commission and you plan on working with them you send an email and set up a phone conversation.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  7. #6
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    1. Lowering of Commission
    2. Reduced Return Days
    3. Restrictive PPC/Search Terms
    4. Switching to an affiliate network I won't work with.
    I'll add:

    5. Reduced conversion rate.

    I've had advertisers (merchants) who've made significant changes to their web sites, causing conversion rates to plummet. In 2007, I had a great relationship with one advertiser until the conversion rate abruptly dropped from ~3% to ~1.5% -- and then a few weeks later, it dropped again, from ~1.5% to ~0.75%. The merchant had changed its site to try to promote higher-priced subscriptions instead of single-item purchases, and claimed that it was working for other traffic sources, but not for my traffic. (I suspected that there might also be tracking issues, but it didn't matter -- the math was clear.) Bye-bye.

    6. Stale or misleading/deceptive datafeed.

    In past years, I've ended successful advertising relationships after the advertiser either (a) failed to update their datafeeds or (b) made inappropriate changes to their datafeeds; I won't tolerate inaccurate pricing and availability information on my sites.

    Any of these six "events" will trigger close scrutiny, but I will always seek out options that might allow the relationship to continue. Even if I'm not directly impacted by a change, it can trigger scrutiny -- for example, although I don't currently do any paid-search advertising, an absurd PPC-search policy makes me worry what other mistakes are coming soon.

    On a related note, I'm looking much more carefully at advertisers who use multiple affiliate technologies or networks. I haven't yet ended a relationship specifically for this reason, but I suspect this as a factor in low eCPM/EPC rates that led me to drop several advertisers earlier this month. (I suspect that parasites are exploiting a vulnerability in one affiliate network, thus poaching advertising fees that should properly have been credited to me through another network.)
    Last edited by markwelch; February 13th, 2011 at 05:39 PM.

  8. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    7. Leaks, leaks and more leaks.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #8
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    I'll add:

    5. Reduced conversion rate.

    I've had advertisers (merchants) who've made significant changes to their web sites, causing conversion rates to plummet. In 2007, I had a great relationship with one advertiser until the conversion rate abruptly dropped from ~3% to ~1.5% -- and then a few weeks later, it dropped again, from ~1.5% to ~0.75%. The merchant had changed its site to try to promote higher-priced subscriptions instead of single-item purchases, and claimed that it was working for other traffic sources, but not for my traffic. (I suspected that there might also be tracking issues, but it didn't matter -- the math was clear.) Bye-bye.

    6. Stale or misleading/deceptive datafeed.

    In past years, I've ended successful advertising relationships after the advertiser either (a) failed to update their datafeeds or (b) made inappropriate changes to their datafeeds; I won't tolerate inaccurate pricing and availability information on my sites.

    Any of these six "events" will trigger close scrutiny, but I will always seek out options that might allow the relationship to continue. Even if I'm not directly impacted by a change, it can trigger scrutiny -- for example, although I don't currently do any paid-search advertising, an absurd PPC-search policy makes me worry what other mistakes are coming soon.

    On a related note, I'm looking much more carefully at advertisers who use multiple affiliate technologies or networks. I haven't yet ended a relationship specifically for this reason, but I suspect this as a factor in low eCPM/EPC rates that led me to drop several advertisers earlier this month. (I suspect that parasites are exploiting a vulnerability in one affiliate network, thus poaching advertising fees that should properly have been credited to me through another network.)
    Excellent post. A couple of thinks I should have considered when writing this post but overlooked. Thanks

  10. #9
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    Bibby, I've wondered about this too - in fact a lot. I used to think get as many affiliations as possible and don't worry about the non-performers rather than keep a limited amount of eggs in my basket (so to speak). But now I'm thinking it's a lot of work to keep trying to update information from merchants that have contributed ZERO to my income for literally years.

    Why should I keep doing this? It's a bit insane really.

    Maybe the better direction is to keep a limited amount of the top performers per category. I dunno? But if that is what I decide to do, I'll be disassociating myself with hundreds of merchants and hundreds of hours of work that doesn't pay off. Maybe that IS reason enough to part company w/ merchants.

    Spend more time working with an exclusive successful bunch of merchants rather than a thousand of non performers?

    (Every time I think like this I remember MColey saying one time that he never dumps merchants w/ the exception of bad players.)
    Last edited by leeann; February 13th, 2011 at 10:45 PM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  11. #10
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    Bibby, I've wondered about this too - in fact a lot. I used to think get as many affiliations as possible and don't worry about the non-performers rather than keep a limited amount of eggs in my basket (so to speak). But now I'm thinking it's a lot of work to keep trying to update information from merchants that have contributed ZERO to my income for literally years.

    Why should I keep doing this? It's a bit insane really.

    Maybe the better direction is to keep a limited amount of the top performers per category. I dunno? But if that is what I decide to do, I'll be disassociating myself with hundreds of merchants and hundreds of hours of work that doesn't pay off. Maybe that IS reason enough to part company w/ merchants.

    Spend more time working with an exclusive successful bunch merchants rather than a thousand of non performers?

    (Every time I think like this I remember MColey saying one time that he never dumps merchants w/ the exception of bad players.)
    You address some good points and it's something to consider.

    I guess my only apprehension with this approach is that I strongly disagree with some merchants’ policies of dumping inactive affiliates. My reasoning is that with some work and time, I may become active and I don't think it costs them anything to keep me in their program.

    So can't underperforming merchants become performers for me (Become active)? I don’t know. I guess I see both sides.

  12. #11
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    So can't underperforming merchants become performers for me (Become active)? I don’t know. I guess I see both sides.
    The difference is that merchants provide the same information for zillions of affiliates. How the affiliates treat the info. differs, but basically the info. is the same.

    As an affiliate - I am one person. Having too many merchants can become impossible and I may never find the time to dedicate anything to promoting their program, esp. if I have never seen a single sale. I'm with you though... I just don't know.
    Last edited by leeann; February 13th, 2011 at 10:48 PM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  13. #12
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    The difference is that merchants provide the same information for zillions of affiliates. How the affiliates treat the info. differs, but basically the info. is the same.

    As an affiliate - I am one person. Having too many merchants can become impossible and I may never find the time to dedicate anything to promoting their program, esp. if I have never seen a single sale. I'm with you though... I just don't know.
    You make some good points.

  14. #13
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2005
    Location
    Emerald City
    Posts
    2,019
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    6. Stale or misleading/deceptive datafeed.

    In past years, I've ended successful advertising relationships after the advertiser either (a) failed to update their datafeeds or (b) made inappropriate changes to their datafeeds; I won't tolerate inaccurate pricing and availability information on my sites.
    +1! Last year, had a brouhaha with a merchant about a customer who complained about an inaccurate price on my site where I use PopShops datafeeds. I was accused of not updating their feed, even though the item in question was available, just an inaccurate price. Yep, dropped them pronto. Just checked another merchant's prices & saw they provided their highest bulk price for the feed, not the 1-2 items price, which more would purchase. Oiy, this is getting wearisome.

    Also saw another way back with their "call us at 800 number" in the item description. Don't remember who, but they went bye-bye also.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  15. #14
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    > "So can't underperforming merchants become performers for me?" <

    Of course they might.

    When I recently decided to focus my efforts on a single primary niche, over the past month I dropped thousands of advertising relationships through SAS, CJ, and GAN.

    I now have relationships with just a few dozen advertisers.

    Relevance was the primary factor I considered; advertisers had to offer specific products for my target audience. My next consideration was the "rate." (I dropped all advertisers promising less than 6%, and most advertisers under 10%.)

    My email volume has dropped by 95%.

    So what about those advertisers who might hold some promise? I can always re-apply.
    Last edited by markwelch; February 14th, 2011 at 10:24 AM.

  16. #15
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    1,466
    Assuming no freud, you should only terminate a merchant after contacting them with your concerns. In the interim, you should replace their links with links of a merchant with better terms. If there isn't any reply or the reply isn't what you expected/wanted then you can terminate.

    Without communication the odds are the merchant wouldn't even notice you terminated in the first place.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  17. #16
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by oranges View Post
    Assuming no freud, you should only terminate a merchant after contacting them with your concerns. In the interim, you should replace their links with links of a merchant with better terms. If there isn't any reply or the reply isn't what you expected/wanted then you can terminate.

    Without communication the odds are the merchant wouldn't even notice you terminated in the first place.
    Part of me says that if a merchant lowers my commission or return days they aren't interested in participating in a reasonable affiliate relationship.

    One terrible example of a dirty tactic was an LS merchant (not anymore) which excessively lowered their return days just prior to the holiday season.

    I reached out to that merchant without any repsonse. I dropped them (as did some other ABWers) and I've never rejoined them.

    I think the merchant is now on the Pepperjam Network.

  18. #17
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 7th, 2007
    Location
    Cuautitlán, Edo. de México
    Posts
    1,725
    I've dropped several merchants for reversing commissions. Pretty much every time they just didn't feel like paying for one excuse or another.

  19. #18
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant View Post
    I've dropped several merchants for reversing commissions. Pretty much every time they just didn't feel like paying for one excuse or another.
    That's another good one. Actually LS has a survey now and one of the questions is what I think is an acceptable reversal rate. I had to think about that one.

    What's your opinion?

  20. #19
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    5,904
    @Rematt: This might cause some controversy, But I look at conversion rate more than leaks these days. With the proliferation of social media links, etc, there's more "escapes" from a Merchant website than ever.

    Now, I don't include "adsense" or things like that, but I'm a firm believer that buying traffic is buying traffic. The "Close Browser" and "Back" buttons always existed, and those kill sales too

    To me, if the merchants main goal on any one page is to sell, I can overlook the rest.

    As for lowered commission rates, I do hate that, but it's a stark reality for their internal sales teams too, as margins erode for any number of reasons. 10% to 1% is one thing, but 10% to 8% is quite another. Don't forget, we're paid on percent of revenue, not percent of profit. We need to understand that.

    All that said, the beautiful thing about affiliate marketing is ALTERNATIVES. unhappy with a merchant? There's many more out there to replace them. Vote with your real estate
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  21. #20
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    As for lowered commission rates, I do hate that, but it's a stark reality for their internal sales teams too, as margins erode for any number of reasons. 10% to 1% is one thing, but 10% to 8% is quite another. Don't forget, we're paid on percent of revenue, not percent of profit. We need to understand that.

    All that said, the beautiful thing about affiliate marketing is ALTERNATIVES. unhappy with a merchant? There's many more out there to replace them. Vote with your real estate
    Good points.

  22. #21
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 7th, 2007
    Location
    Cuautitlán, Edo. de México
    Posts
    1,725
    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    That's another good one. Actually LS has a survey now and one of the questions is what I think is an acceptable reversal rate. I had to think about that one.

    What's your opinion?
    I don't know what a good reversal rate would be, but I think there should only be reversals in the case of fraud.

    However I've had sales reversed by merchants just because they felt like it (for example missing referral info from the browser, not the first sale to the customer, and other more cryptic error messages that I can't recall and understood even less)

    This has even been the case for programs "managed" by OPMs here. I'm not saying the OPM did the reversal. Just saying that having a good OPM doesn't keep the merchant from voiding hard earned commissions for whatever excuse.

    In that particular case I sent 2 sales to the merchant and both were reversed for me that was 100% reversal rate to me. Of course I dropped them after the second reversal and didn't bother the OPM since really it is their job to see what's going on with their program.

  23. #22
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 24th, 2005
    Posts
    6,918
    • When I send them multiple emails and they do not respond...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  24. #23
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    • When I send them multiple emails and they do not respond...
    That seems to be happening more and more these days isn't it?

  25. #24
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Assuming no freud, you should only terminate a merchant after contacting them with your concerns. In the interim, you should replace their links with links of a merchant with better terms. If there isn't any reply or the reply isn't what you expected/wanted then you can terminate.

    Without communication the odds are the merchant wouldn't even notice you terminated in the first place.
    __________________
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO
    As an AM or OPM many times we are handed the crap to relate to the program. Many times its the Dilbert Principle making the decision being twice removed from the affiliate program. When I get complaints I pass them on to the merchant without comment. Several times it got them to wake up so make sure you send the email and then leave the program. Its difficult to see when affiliates leave the program and there is no real indication why.

  26. #25
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    1. Lowering of Commission
    2. Reduced Return Days
    3. Restrictive PPC/Search Terms
    Those are good reasons to terminate a merchant. I'm still showing some tolerance to merchants who did above, however, they will be on my "ignore list" unless I can't find any other merchants to replace them(which is almost impossible).

    I don't normally terminate merchants. But I will terminate them when their products don't convert if the same promotion have been given for the same period of time, while other merchants in the same niche convert. Then I know something have to be wrong with their sites, products, tracking...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Remarketing from an Affiliate perspective
    By tombarrington in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: July 9th, 2014, 01:48 PM
  2. Featured: Terminate affiliate programs??
    By cbwtws in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: June 15th, 2012, 03:25 PM
  3. Affiliate Perspective Appreciated
    By Stoic in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 9th, 2012, 10:05 AM
  4. Did Quill Terminate Your Affiliation
    By bibby in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 5th, 2010, 07:46 PM
  5. Linkshare Reporting Can Cause a Merchant to Terminate an Affiliate
    By Snowman in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: August 26th, 2008, 11:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •